Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy
Welcome to Day 652 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
Hospital Recovery, Life Lessons Learned The Hard Way – Wisdom Unplugged
Thank you for joining us for our 5 days per week wisdom and legacy building podcast. This is Day 652 of our trek and time for the 5th installment of a special series of stories that will chronicle my recent accident and recovery as we trek “Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way.”
This accident is a major life event that will change life for me for several months to come. In fact, I would say that it will certainly impact me for the remainder of my life.
It is my hope and prayer that as I share that it will also positively impact your life as well. I have often said, we must accept and live life as it truly is, not as we wished it to be. We don’t always know or understand what will become of the uphill climbs and treacherous downhill slopes that we encounter on life’s trek.
The key is to learn from these events and allow them to effectively become part of our living legacy which will positively impact our lives and the lives of all those who we impact. So for the next couple of Wisdom Nuggets episodes, we will look at…
Hospital Recovery – Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way
It is my hope to get caught up to current on all my podcast episodes and journal this coming weekend so that the release dates correspond to the actual date they are released. If you would like to catch the first three episodes of this series, go to Day 645, Day 647, and Day 650.
I ended Day 650, which was my story of the surgery, with the somber thought that not only could the accident have been fatal if I had landed on my head, but both during surgery, and an episode afterward, my pulse had dropped to zero for a few moments. We really do need to treasure each day of life and make the most impact possible as we live out our living legacy each day.
Sunday night after surgery was not a very good night of sleep as I was still in pain, and my mind wandered to the two episodes where my pulse had dropped. I dozed off and on, but between the monitoring, lab work, and my roommate’s loud snoring, I did not achieve significant rest. Paula once again slept in the reclining chair, and although she did sleep more than I did was not very comfortable either.
After a good breakfast on Monday, the hospital staff seemed very positive about how quickly I was rebounding after surgery and that I was able to be up and working remotely on Monday. We saw several additional staff members throughout the day, each with his or her own area of expertise, as we planned my physical therapy and when I would be able to be discharged.
One concern they had was that my hemoglobin and red blood counts had dropped after surgery, which usually indicates a loss of blood. My left leg was swollen significantly, and we started to ice it in hopes of reducing the swelling. I believe the tightness in my leg was actually causing more pain than the surgery itself. With these factors and since we had not met with physical therapy yet, we all thought it would be best to stay at least one more night.
In the afternoon, occupational therapy came and guided me on walking with a walker up and down the hall. They were very pleased with how quickly I adapted to the walker and that I was able to go quite a distance without getting too worn out. I let them know that we did have stairs at home both going into the house and also 18 steps to the 2nd floor. They assured me that they would provide stair training for me the following day. I was so glad to be able to now get up and walk with the walker now although with limited distance. At least that freed me to use the bathroom.
A couple of hours after that, another person from physical therapy came in and tested my strength in both legs and reviewed a few exercise routines with me. They were somewhat painful, but she assured me that I had a really strong right leg and even my injured leg already showed encouraging progress. Since we felt that we could handle most exercises, she said she would provide us with an in-home instruction sheet that we could continue with.
The rest of the day was filled with meals, visiting, working remotely, and a nap. I encouraged Paula to go home Monday night so she could get a better night of sleep. Although we were both somewhat emotionally drained, she agreed that it would be best.
Monday night’s sleep was a little better for me although still not great. I was able to get up and go to the bathroom myself, and my roommate’s snoring was not quite as bad.
The night nurse came in the very early morning and said she was instructed to put my back on an IV. She indicated that my hemoglobin and red blood counts had gone down again and there was some concern about possible internal bleeding in my left leg. It was still swollen significantly, and the skin was very tight on it.
Paula arrived early, and although we were not overly concerned, we were hoping that it was improving and that we would be able to go home that day. I felt fine and was not lightheaded or dizzy.
After a good breakfast, the nurse practitioner came in, and we discussed physical therapy, our comfort level of going home, and the possibility of a blood transfusion to raise my hemoglobin. About an hour after that, she returned with the hospital doctor who indicated that in fact my hemoglobin level had dropped with each blood test since surgery. As of that morning, it was down to 7.5 where 13.7 is the low range for normal and where my count had been when admitted to the hospital.
The doctor said that they could give me a blood transfusion if I desired, and it used to be automatic if the hemoglobin fell below 10. He said in more recent studies, they found that if the count did not drop below 7 and the patient was able to produce it on their own, then long-term results were much better. We told him that we were comfortable waiting a couple of more days to see if it would rebound. They scheduled outpatient blood work for Friday to check on my blood counts.With that, the doctor mentioned that as long as I got the occupational therapy training done, then they would release us from the hospital that evening.
Shortly after that an occupational therapist came with a set of crutches and worked with me on walking up and down the hall with crutches. We then went to a set of stairs and worked on walking up and down the stairs. He was very positive on how quickly I was able to adapt and felt that I would be able to handle the stairs at home without any issues.
Next, we met with the family services director who made sure we had the appropriate equipment at home, that we felt comfortable with doing our own physical therapy exercises at home, and that we had all of our questions answered.
After lunch, I worked a little more, and Paula watched TV. We thought that we had several hours to wait. At about 1 pm our nurse came in and said that he was working on our discharge information and it would take a couple of hours to complete it all. He actually finished a little bit earlier than that, but by the time we left the hospital for home, it was about 4 pm.
I believe that covers most of the details of my hospital recovery program. On our next Wisdom-Nugget episode, I will share how our home-based recovery has gone so far and what the long-term prognosis is.
So my life lesson learned the hard way for today is, “That with the proper training and guidance you can overcome just about any obstacles, as long as you follow the guidelines.” Proverbs 1:5 – Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance.
That’s a wrap for today’s Wisdom Unplugged. Join us on the next couple of Tuesdays and Thursdays for more life lessons learned the hard way as I share some recovery stories.
As you enjoy these nuggets of wisdom, please encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
If you would like to listen to any of our past treks or read the Wisdom Journal, they are available at Wisdom-Trek.com. You can also subscribe at iTunes or Google Play so that each day’s trek will be downloaded automatically.
Thank you so much for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this trek of life together, let us always:
- Live Abundantly (Fully)
- Love Unconditionally
- Listen Intentionally
- Learn Continuously
- Lend to others Generously
- Lead with Integrity
- Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
This is Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Every Day! See you tomorrow for FearLess Friday!